I cringe every time I see a business professional use an email address that is not of their brand.

Every. Time.

If a business has a website with its own domain, there is no valid excuse not to use an email address from some other company.

No. Valid. Excuse.

When I see a business person using a Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo address, or even worse – one belonging to their ISP – I question their commitment to their business. In my eyes, they are sabotaging their brand with every email they send.

Every Email Sabotages Their Brand

Why do I think this? Let’s put it this way: it’s not hard to set up an email account for a business. If someone can’t be bothered to take this small step to promote and protect their brand, it makes me wonder why. Aren’t they proud of their brand? Don’t they want to be associated with it? What else are they not doing to protect the integrity of their brand?

Your Brand is Your Reputation in the Marketplace

Free email accounts do nothing to promote your brand. Honestly, it feels lame. I’m not the only one who feels this way and I’m not the only one who’s said it online. There’s a silent majority of people who think less of people for using free email services to send business correspondence.

The Platform is Fine – When You Use Your Own Domain

For Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook.com*, and Yahoo users who don’t want to quit the platform, the good news is that both of these services can be set up to check your domain-based POP email accounts. The platform isn’t the issue – it’s how you choose to use it. If you don’t know how to set this up, there are easily hundreds of online tutorials that can walk you through the process. It takes minutes to look more professional. Probably less time than it takes to fix your hair – and you only have to do it once.

No excuse.

* Edit: I found out the day after I wrote this article that Microsoft’s Outlook.com no longer offers the ability to check external email addresses.